Bars closed, social gatherings cut, funerals limited

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has initiated a number of measures to stem the apparent spike in COVID-19 cases on island.

Effective 6 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 8, the administration will be implementing the following restrictions:

  • Social gatherings outdoors or in private accommodations will decrease from 50 to 25;

  • Funerals will be limited to 10 people and only immediate family for viewing. Wakes will no longer be allowed in private homes. From these recent cases, many of these contacts have been traced to funeral gatherings. Public Health will issue further guidelines regarding these restrictions; and

  • Bars will be closed for the next two weeks.

Based on information received by Public Health and its contact tracing teams, the governor said people congregate more in bars and in general have not exercised the same degree of compliance across the board.

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“I have ordered a review of the current guidelines for bars and taverns and have asked Public Health officials to work with industry leaders to develop an effective plan. While dine-in restaurants will still be allowed, we are closely monitoring the situation and I ask all restaurant owners and patrons to NOT let your guard down. As a patron, wear your masks as much as possible,” the governor said.

She added: “Restaurants across our island have been acting conscientiously. Tables are separated and many have installed plexiglass dividers. As you have read, many restaurants have voluntarily disclosed their contact with COVID-19 and have aggressively imposed sanitation and testing measures.”

Contact tracing

Aside from the new restrictions, the Department of Public Health and Social Services has also enhanced contact tracing and added 30 more people for tracing and surveillance work.

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“Our testing capacity is also increasing to ensure people are traced and tested quickly and efficiently. Announcements of future community testing outreaches will be made once confirmed. Public Health will be enhancing compliance and enforcement of the minimum requirements for business operations and the wearing of face masks and social distancing. Businesses that are not compliant may be closed,” the governor said.

For now, the governor said, the island remains in Pandemic Condition of Readiness 3, Guam’s tourism industry continues to be open and the 5-day quarantine rule for all visitors will continue to be in effect. The governor also said she intends to renew the public health emergency when it expires on Aug. 29.

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